Bleeding Heart vines are delicate-looking perennials that are usually found in the colder areas of the US. While they may look delicate and dainty, they’re actually quite hardy, considering how well they handle the cold months. Though, they somehow manage to make an amazing comeback and start blooming as soon as spring rolls around.
On average, Bleeding Heart vines will keep on flowering throughout the summer. Yet, sometimes, even when they’re in the most ideal of conditions, the vines won’t flower. There are several reasons why this might be happening. The two most common ones are unsuitable soil conditions and pests.
So, why is your Bleeding Heart vine not blooming? That’s what we’re here to find out today!
Read ahead for more.
Why Is My Bleeding Heart Vine Not Blooming?
A native of northern Asia, Bleeding Heart vines (Clerodendrum thomsoniae) were first introduced to the West around the 1840s. They quickly took the horticultural world by storm and started popping up in homes and public gardens all over the northern US. Even today, they’re considered beautiful adornments that add color and charm to any garden or yard.
It’s worth mentioning that these plants may enter dormancy during extreme weather as part of their natural life cycle. However, sometimes the plant stops flowering even in moderate temperatures.
Below are four reasons why this might be happening to your Bleeding Heart vines.
Take a look.
Culturing usually refers to taking care of your plants and maintaining a suitable environment for them to grow and develop. In a pot, these hardy perennials can grow to about 30 inches wide and over two feet high. Yet, outdoors, they sometimes reach up to 15 feet tall and two feet wide.
When it comes to culturing Bleeding Heart vines, give them one or two seasons to acclimate and mature. Sometimes a plant is just too young to start flowering just yet.
So, don’t panic if your plant may not flower during the first season or the second. Just be patient and give it time to grow and become more robust. Then, as it starts to feel more comfortable in its element, that’s when you can begin to see flowers!
So, if you feel the plant is becoming too big, you’ll probably need to divide and propagate. The best time for dividing Bleeding Heart vines is in the early spring or late fall once the foliage has died back somewhat.
Unfavorable Soil Conditions
If the soil is damper and soggier than it should, this can cause Bleeding Hearts to not bloom. These vines prefer rich, moist soil, not boggy and heavy.
This means you should only give them one inch of water each week. To ensure the soil is ideal, put your finger in it after watering. If it comes up with only a few bits of soil, you’ve added the right amount of water.
However, if you’ve given them too much water or planted them in an area that can get waterlogged, this can affect the health of the entire plant, starting with the roots.
Another factor that can lead to a non-flowering vine is if they’re planted in an area that gets full sunlight. The harsh UV rays and extreme heat are too much for the plant to handle, and it’ll start struggling to grow foliage, let alone flowers.
To avoid this, place your Bleeding Hearts somewhere that gets partial sunlight. Before you know it, these ornamental plants will
Two common diseases that infect Bleeding Heart leaves are Fusarium wilt and Leaf spot. Fusarium wilt is caused by a particular type of fungus that inhabits the soil before moving on to the leaves.
Leaf spot disease also affects the leaves only. It can be brought on by several things, like a fungus, bacteria, or a viral disease.
In some instances, leaf spots can result from an injury caused by herbicides, insects, or nematodes.
Whatever reason is behind these diseases, they weaken the plant considerably. If left unchecked, the plant can become so frail that it stops flowering completely and eventually dies.
Pests are another possible reason why your Bleeding Hearts aren’t flowering. Parasites, such as aphids and scale insects, are two of the most common Bleeding Heart pests.
They find their way up the stem and to the underparts of the leaves. Then, they get to work by sucking the sweet sap of the plant. Over time, this leads to a weaker plant, thus reducing its ability to flower.
Both pests are tiny, measuring 1/8 – 1/2 inches in length. So, you’ll have to be extremely thorough when searching for these insects. Look for dark, waxy bumps on the underside of the leaves and the top part of the stem.
How to Induce Flowering: Tips and Techniques
Bleeding Heart flowers grow in a horizontal cluster called a ‘raceme.’ If your plant is battling any of the conditions we mentioned above, then this cluster will be too frail to produce any flowers.
Below are a few standard techniques that can help you induce flowering and restore your Bleeding Heart’s glory.
One way you can encourage Bleeding Hearts to bloom is by pinching the new sprouts. You can find them at the topmost of the cluster, or raceme.
Also known as ‘super cropping,’ pinching requires you to squeeze down on the apical meristem with your thumb and forefinger. The apical meristem is the uppermost tip of the stem and is responsible for length growth.
By breaking off this part of the stem, you damage its structural and vascular cells. It may take a few weeks, but the stem will eventually heal and start sprouting two nodes, one on each side. Hopefully, this is where new blooms will start to appear.
As the meristem is healing, nutrients will get redirected to the lower limbs. As a result, plant growth will get a nice boost, ultimately triggering flowers to start blooming.
Another method that can help trigger the plant to bloom is to stimulate new growth. The quickest way to do that is by cutting back the plant to an inch above the layer of topsoil.
You can also cut all sick-looking leaves. This ensures that the nutrients are going to the healthy leaves, providing them with a better chance of thriving. Once the foliage starts looking more robust, it means you’re a step closer to seeing colorful blooms.
During the warmer months, give the plant fertilizer once every six weeks. This will fortify the roots, thus improving the health of the entire plant.
Hopefully, this will induce flowering and get your Bleeding Heart to start blooming again. Make sure you choose a fertilizer that contains a blend of nutrients to boost plant health.
There are also organic fertilizers made from all-natural ingredients. They help keep your plants healthy while being environmentally friendly at the same time.
If your plant isn’t doing well in its current location, there’s no shame in moving it. Just make sure you move them somewhere better suited for these shade-loving perennials.
Also, never move your plants when they’re most active during the summer. You risk weakening the plant even further.
The best time for transporting Bleeding Hearts is late fall or early spring. It’s when they’re dormant and won’t get affected by the moving process.
Now that you know the most common reasons why your Bleeding Heart vine isn’t blooming, it’s time to put an end to it. Use our handy tips to help boost your plant’s flowering power and start enjoying a kaleidoscope of colorful blooms.
The good news is that they’re pretty easy to care for. Plus, provided you plant them in ideal light and soil conditions, these unique flowers will continue to grow and blossom for years to come.
Back to Petals And Hedges home page